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Interior design advice from just €25: how to get it and what it offers

A one-off consultation can help you choose everything from paint colours and curtains to storage solutions. And it doesn’t have to break the bank

Struggling with what colour to paint your kitchen? Or with how to achieve a “flow” through your home? What about the dilemma of opting for standalone or built-in furniture? And what should you do with the playroom that hasn’t been played in for years?

Everyday questions that we all struggle with – so could it be time to call in the experts?

One sure-fire solution to seeking a better home is to hire an interior designer to bring your vision to life. However, given that it can typically cost several thousand for a designer to take your home on as a project, it’s out of the reach for most of us.

But could there be a cheaper option?


Well, thanks to the power of Zoom and fibre broadband, good design has become more affordable, with many designers now offering one-hour consultations at more affordable rates. Getting in-store advice is another option.

Ideal perhaps, to get inspiration for a room refresh, rather than an entire home do-over.

So what are the options?

In-store advice

If budget is a key concern, and if you are already a fan of a particular store or band, then opting for an in-store option may be for you.

Do bear in mind that recommendations will typically be based on the stock in that store – so be sure you are happy with their goods before availing of their services.

Low-cost furniture giant Ikea, for example, has a number of options, starting with a free 45-minute session, which can be done either remotely or in an outlet. If you’re looking for more tailored advice, then you can pay €25 (non-redeemable) for a 45- to 60-minute remote session, for a consultation which “can help address a range of smaller issues, such as cable management to furniture arrangement, colour selection and material choices”, says a spokeswoman.

If this isn’t enough, then you can opt for two 45-minute sessions for €90, with advice including 2D floorplans and wall and floor finish suggestions.

As you can pay for these sessions with an Ikea gift card, it might make a nice gift for someone who’s just moved into a new home.

EZ Living Interiors, which has branches around the country, including Dublin, Cork, Kildare and Waterford, has two options. For €49, you can get a designer from the store to come to your home and discuss everything from paint colours, to using existing furniture, to a customised product list of what you might buy. You can also do this virtually or in-store.

Similarly, Ligne Roset offers a service, from €300, which covers up to three rooms in your house, and includes a visit to your home from a designer.

In Munster, you can book in for a one-hour package with Caseys, costing from €195, or an at-home service (for homes within 50km of its Cork and Limerick stores), which takes two hours and costs €395. If you spend more than €5,000 with the furniture store, then you can redeem this cost against your purchase.

In Trim, Co Meath, Nook Home offers a free service, whereby you can book a time slot of up to an hour, to discuss paint options (it stocks Colourtrend, Little Greene and Autentico paint brands), as well as covering furniture, accessories and soft furnishing ideas. Products chosen will only come from Nook Home.

“This service does not include mood/e-style boards but most customers find this a great way to set the wheels in motion and put them on track re colours/style and planning for that space,” says Ursula Winter of the shop.

And, the shop will launch an online service from May 1st – similar to one offered during Covid – where for €85 per room, it will send an e-style board for the room, including paint options, window treatments, furniture, accessories and soft furnishings from Nook Home, with flooring options from local suppliers. The service will also look at using homeowners’ existing furniture, but perhaps giving it a new look/purpose, as well as offering ideas on hanging wall art and gallery walls.

“This is a great service for those who are too far from Trim or who are busy with work and family, and it gives them the opportunity to get started on a project and they can move it forward at their own pace,” says Winter.

Designer time

For a more bespoke option – and one which will offer tips from a broad range of retailers – you can enlist the services of an interior designer.

Hiring one to oversee the work may be the best – but the most expensive solution. Many Irish interior designers now offer either online or in-person consultations, which allow you to talk through a specific space, such as a livingroom or kitchen in an allotted amount of time.

You can expect to pay upwards of about €100 for a consultation.

Rathmines, Dublin shop April and the Bear offers a one-hour “design chit-chat”, either online or in-store, which costs from €250. This is aimed at “those who think they already know what they want”, so is best if you already have images of your dream kitchen or bedroom, and colours picked out, but you need a second opinion on the light fixtures, for example, or the right colour for the coving.

Fairview shop Oriana B has a range of options starting at €250 for an in-studio consultation with lead designer Alannah Monks, which will include a personally curated shopping list for furniture and accessories to finish off your space, increasing to €495 for a home visit, to include comprehensive mood boards and suggested layouts.

Interior designer Helen Turkington, who has a shop in Dublin as well as an involvement in property development through Turkington Rock, builders of Stone Park in Mount Merrion and Knocknagarm in Glenageary, charges a steep €450 an hour (plus expenses) for a senior designer on a renovation project. However, you can also opt for a one-hour in-person consultation (€250), which, the design company says, is typically sufficient to come up with a decor concept for one room.

In Limerick, Wioleta Kelly of Abbeyfeale Interiors offers remote consult design packages from €550, which includes a 30-minute Zoom consultation and design report.

AK Interior, led by Agne Kremenskiene, will do a two-hour on site visit, within a 30km perimeter of Cork city. It costs €350. Alternatively, you can get a 45-minute in-studio fabric consultation for €150.

Davina O’Connell Hanley, of Dernish Designs, offers a range of services, including mini consultations and helping a client to put the finishing touches on a room, to full room designs available as 2D or 3D.

Price will depend on the scale of the project agreed. For those opting for a 2D option, for example, this will include a mood board that allows the client to see all the items she has chosen for the room design, along with an itemised shopping list.

“This moodboard allows my client to look at everything from colours to textures and fabrics chosen for the room design,” she says.

Paint special

Another option is to look for advice on paint colours. Yes, it may cost, but it might save you watching in horror as your chosen paint goes on the walls in some hideous shade.

Optimise Design, for example, has a “colour concierge” service, costing €200 online or €350 in your home. It will help you select the perfect shades from its Mood collection of paint colours.

Irish paint company Colourtrend offers a free 15-minute “ask the expert” service, which you can book online, and ask questions such as “which paint finish is best for a north-facing room?” and “what colours are currently on-trend for a bedroom feature wall?”. For longer consultations, you can book a 30-minute session for €50 (€25 of which is redeemable), or €75 for an hour-long discussion.

Or check out your local paint shop, which will often have such a service. Stillorgan Décor, for example, in south Dublin, offers free 15-minute consultations with its interior designer, Emma Edmonds.

An international take

Thanks to the powers of Zoom, you don’t have to rely only on Irish-based designers – although you might have more of an affinity for their local knowledge, etc.

Platforms such as The Expert ( (Gwyneth Paltrow is an investor) allow you to link up with many US-based designers, to discuss everything from curtains, to paint, to cabinetry to floor layout.

You can expect to pay from about $300 to $2,000 (€276-€1,841) for a video chat and expert advice. Founder Jake Arnold, who has worked with celebrity clients including Katy Perry, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, charges $2,000 for a 55-minute call.

If you’re a fan of the Real Housewives franchise – or specifically the Soho loft of New York cast member Jenna Lyons – why not discuss your home renovation project with her? The former CEO of fashion brand J.Crew has now turned her design skills to interiors; you can chat with her for 55 minutes for $2,000. Just don’t waste time talking about the new series of the hit show.

Irish design doyenne Minnie Peters is also on the platform, with a fee of $800 for 55 minutes, or $425 for 25 minutes.

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